Asparagus is a vegetable plant that grows from a crown root system and has a long life span. Plant the asparagus crowns in a garden area that has a nutrient rich, well-draining soil and receives full sunlight for six to eight hours each day. Asparagus is a spring harvest vegetable that begins active production in the third year of growth. An established asparagus crown will produce eight to 12 spears each year when cared for properly.
Prepare the asparagus planting area two weeks before planting by testing the soil pH to verify it is acidic with a pH of 6.5 to 7.0. Work limestone into the soil at a rate of two pounds for each 100 square feet of garden space if the pH is below 6.0. Work ground rock sulfur according to package instructions for the soil type if the pH is above 7.0.
Add 3 inches of organic compost to the planting area followed by a half-pound of 10-20-10 fertilizer for each 100 square feet of area. Work the amendments into the soil to a depth of 10 inches with a tiller.
Dig 10-inch wide and deep trench rows set 3 feet apart in the planting area. Mix equal portions of garden soil and composted manure and use it to create a 2-inch mound on the bottom of the trench.
Place the asparagus crown on the mound so the crown is pointing up. Spread the roots over the mound and gently cover them with 2 inches of soil making sure to keep the crowns exposed. Space the asparagus plants 15 inches apart in the row.
Water the asparagus crowns generously after planting to moisten the soil to a depth of 6 inches. Provide 1 inch of water each week to the asparagus bulbs when the rainfall amounts are less than one inch.
Add soil to the trench as the crown grows during the first season. Stop adding soil when the trench is full and the crowns are at ground level.
Place a 2-inch layer of grass clippings or peat moss mulch around the asparagus once the trench is no longer visible and filled with soil.
Fertilize the asparagus soil in early spring during the first two years of growth with a quarter-pound of ammonium sulfate for each 100 square feet of garden space. Fertilize asparagus older than three years two weeks before harvest with a half-pound of ammonium sulfate for each 100 square feet of garden space.